Childhood Nutrition

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Childhood Nutrition

Dairy is nutrient-rich!

Many children are overweight and undernourished - missing out on important nutrients they need for growth and good health - because they are not choosing nutrient-rich foods first, such as low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Dairy foods provide nine essential nutrients that help improve children’s overall diet and health. Plus, milk is the No. 1 source for calcium, vitamin D and potassium, three nutrients that both kids and adults are lacking.

Essential for good health
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognize the importance of dairy in a healthy diet and call for children to increase consumption of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products to the recommended daily amounts:

  • ages 9 and older is 3 cups (three eight-ounce servings)
  • ages 4-8, is 2.5 cups (2.5 eight-ounce servings)
  • ages 2-3, is 2 cups (2 eight-ounce servings)

The Dietary Guidelines also note that it is "especially important to establish the habit of drinking milk in young children, as those who consume milk at an early age are more likely to do so as adults." This has lifelong benefits because research shows consuming milk and milk products is linked to improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents. Milk - whether white or flavored - plays a vital role within the school meal in helping children meet needs for critical nutrients of concern as identified in the Dietary Guidelines.

Your source for science-based dairy health and wellness information.

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